Ag Today October 29, 2020

Judge orders Trump administration to reinstate farmworker wage survey [Courthouse News Service]

Likely preventing pay cuts to the thousands of U.S. farmworkers toiling through the pandemic, a federal judge on Wednesday squashed the Trump administration’s bid to halt a longstanding survey that determines the minimum wage for immigrant farmworkers. Siding with the nation’s largest farmworker union, U.S. District Judge Dale Drozd agreed the Trump administration hastily postponed the Farm Labor Survey without a clear replacement. Drozd ruled the survey is essential to setting a fair pay rate and ordered the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue with the next planned survey to prevent an avalanche of future labor lawsuits.


Watsonville City Council urges ag commissioner to make pesticide information public [Monterey Herald]

The Watsonville City Council passed a first-of-its-kind resolution Tuesday that asks the County Agricultural Commissioner to publicly post information specifically on toxic pesticide applications. The commissioner receives information from growers, called notices of intent, that lay out what restricted material pesticides will be applied, how much will be applied and where the application will take place. These are pesticides considered to be of greater risk to human health. The commissioner must approve or deny the planned applications, depending on if they may have harmful impacts on the environment and community. There’s currently no easy-to-access way for the public to see where and when applications will happen.


Drive nail into coffin of farming in Valley by voting ‘yes’ on Proposition 15 [Ceres Courier]

…Proponents argue that it is taking a scalpel supposedly to injustices created by passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 that allowed mega-corporations to skirt paying their “fair” share of proper taxes. Opponents say it is just the first incision to gutting Proposition 13’s protection of homeowners. If you think that a school of piranhas can take just one nibble if you dip your toes into infested water then vote yes on Proposition 15.


Trump’s EPA rewrote the rules on air, water energy. Now voters face a choice on climate change issues [USA Today]

…The rule is one of nearly 100 environmental rollbacks the Trump administration has pursued over the past four years to loosen regulations on everything from air and water quality to wildlife….USA TODAY Network climate reporters fanned out across Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan and Ohio to examine the effects of rollbacks of two key protections: One that diminishes air quality through Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy rule; the other threatening water quality through recent changes to the Waters of the United States rule, or WOTUS.


California Supreme Court rejects Abatti petition [Imperial Valley Press]

The Supreme Court of California decided on Wednesday that it will not review a Fourth District Court of Appeal ruling in an ongoing dispute between local farmer Michael Abatti and the Imperial Irrigation District. Abatti’s attorney, Cheryl Orr, petitioned the high court to examine the case in August, weeks after the appellate court overturned most of a 2017 Superior Court ruling against IID that linked water rights in the Valley to land ownership….What happens next is uncertain, as Abatti couldn’t be reached for comment. IID, meanwhile, is thrilled with Wednesday’s decision.


UN weather agency: Moderate to strong La Nina this year [Associated Press]

The La Nina climate phenomenon has developed and is expected to last into next year, affecting temperatures, precipitation and storm patterns across the world, the U.N. weather agency said Thursday….In North America, La Nina typically brings more rain to the north of the continent and less to the south.


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